Tis The Season To Treat Yourself

Most weeks this wine blog focuses on great tasting wines that tend to be under the $25 mark. I started this wine blog many years ago to let people know you can find good wines at prices that won’t break the bank. We’ve also had some treat wines along the way. I’ve been very blessed lately, between gifts from dear friends, and a little treat for myself, this wine blog is about some fantastic wines that are great for special occasions, gift giving, or just to treat yourself after a busy week.

Let’s talk some jingle juice…

Last Saturday night I wanted to try something new. So I picked up this wine. Frenchie Collage wine is a blend, and quite the blend it is. 35% Petite Verdot, 29& Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petite Sirah and finished with Malbec and Tempranillo. The dog featured on the label is the French bulldog owned by the owner of the winery. This wine was made in California with grape varietals from all over. It’s been aged mostly in stainless steel with a little bit aged in American oak. So not much in the way of oak notes so very fruit forward. Here was my only issue with the wine. It wasn’t filtered, so after the first glass I was left with a mouthful of grit and must, and I had to rinse my glass. Then I shared the wine with two friends, but had to pour it through a paper towel to filter it. I don’t mind paying $30 for a good wine, and the wine was very good, but I don’t want to have to filter it through a paper towel.

December is here. The month for Christmas parties and get togethers. It’s the season for family and friends. And it’s the season for gift giving. My friend Cassandra gave me a pretty Starbucks cup and my favorite Christmas blend coffee this week. Perfect with coffee & Baileys!! Another kind of jingle juice.

My friend Anthony pictured here with me about 9 years ago, enjoying a great Pinot Noir called Sea Smoke.

We’ve both gotten a little greyer since than, and maybe even a little wiser. Hmmm maybe LOL. Well, we still work together and he’s been a rock of support for me and this week he gave me a very special gift, and it’s my wine of the week.

This past year I had the honor of going to Bordeaux France with a wonderful group of people. This wine is one of the best Bordeaux wines I have ever had. Now this is a treat wine, selling here for $47 a bottle so definitely a treat. I had it last night after the end of a challenging week, while enjoying my happy place, at my grill.

My nephew Riley is coming up tonight so I did some ribs for him on the pellet grill. Considering these take about 5 hours, I got a head start. It was a nice evening and Anthony gave me that wonderful wine to enjoy. Some great tunes and it was a great Friday night.

D’Angelus has been making wines in Bordeaux for 120 years, and I’ve read it was the wine responsible for turning martini drinking James Bond into a lover of Bordeaux wines. Merlot with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this delicious wine is delicious to drink now and it also could age it if you wanted.

That’s it for this week. Stay safe my friends. Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Fall Back With Some Great Wine

Many of us are not big fans of time changes. Although I find Spring Ahead a little harder personally, many people don’t like the Fall one because it gets darker earlier in the evening. Hey, it’s probably acceptable to start at 4 p.m

I have to apologize to my white wine loving friends and readers. I don’t have a white wine to share with you this week. My apologies and I will definitely have one next week. I do have a couple of new reds to share with you.

The first one I’m calling this one my wine of the week.

This is the best $17 wine I’ve tasted in a long time. And to my Newfoundland friends and wine-lovers, it’s the same price. I shared a bottle with some friends Thursday night, and had it again last night with my smoked baby back ribs and wings. Delicious. Nice rich feeling on the palate, deep fruit flavors and hints of black pepper. I can’t talk about this wine enough, I loved it.

Back in September of 2020, I wrote about the Cabernet Sauvignon. One of my lockdown wines. I have to say the Cabernet was good, I liked the Merlot better.

Some personal news to share, about my kitty Gabriel.

Gabriel is a kitty I started fostering 4 and a half years ago. He was badly abused and it took him months to trust me and feel at home here. Well, he has turned into a baby. He now trusts people, because everyone that comes here gives him love and attention. Well he had surgery on Thursday to remove a cyst. Look at how much they shaved. I feel I should get him a sweater. But he’s doing good, and he’s getting his stitches removed on the 16th.

One more wine to share before I call it a day.

RH Phillips is the same is the same company that makes this wine, which I’ve written about before. The Toasted Head Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon. This was an easy to drink Cabernet, well priced at $17, and went well with food.

The oak on the RH Phillips Cabernet was not as prominent as on this one, but this label tells you it’s going to be oaky. When they toast the oak, it accentuates those flavors.

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Enjoy the extra hour this weekend.

Till next week, Cheers

Welcome to the ‘Ber’ Months

I love the colors of Fall

We are in my favorite time of the year. I heard someone call them the ‘Ber’ months, September, October, November & December. I love these months. Gorgeous colors, cool breezes, comfortable sleeping, comfort food and of course wine!

And for all my white wine loving friends, it’s still cool to drink white any time of the year. Last weekend was an extra long weekend for me, so I got to try and share a few new wines.

This was one I tried, when I did ribs for the first time on my new smoker / pellet grill. the Carnivor Zinfandel. I had tried the Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon in the past but never the Zinfandel. I loved it, and it was the perfect wine for ribs.

Lodi California has earned a reputation of great full-bodied Zinfandel wines. A Mediterranean climate with its warm days and cool nights, has given this region the nickname of ‘The Zinfandel Capital of the World’. Let’s not forget old vines and great winemakers, check out this Zinfandel wine.

Zinfandel vines in Lodi

The Carnivor Zinfandel is a product of this great history of wine-making.

I’ve been reading that the 2019 vintage was one of the best in years. Achieving perfect harmony and balance, this wine is normally priced just under $21, which is a good price for a Lodi Zinfandel. But right now, here it is on sale, so you may want to stock up. It was my favorite new wine I’ve tried recently, and it’s definitely my wine of the week.

One quick note that has nothing to do with wine or food (What?)

I finished this book this past week, and it was sooooo good! I can’t wait to see the movie. So, if you’re looking for a good read this Fall, try this one.

Now back to some wine. We are heading to Spain.

My friend Angie bought this wine last Saturday night for our weekly game night. It was a nice wine at a nice price point. It was a medium bodied wine, light and easy to drink. Priced under $17, this is also a very food friendly wine with notes of dried spices.

So, a little news before I go. My mom is coming to visit for 2 weeks.

My sister in Corner Brook, who is her primary care-giver, is going to Hawaii for almost 4 weeks. So my Mom is coming September 30th for 2 weeks. Now, my Mom is a Chardonnay drinker, and she likes some Moscato. So, I’ll be trying some new whites in those weeks. And then I’m flying with her back to Corner Brook, to take care of Maggie till Jackie gets home.

Mom, Jackie & Maggie

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers. And thank you for reading.

Darlene

My X-Tra Long Weekend

Ahhh, everyone loves a long weekend. I made this one extra special by taking Friday off, making it a 4-day weekend. Rest, relaxation, food and of course wine. Plus, a new grill has been added to my collection.

Master Chef Turrismo Pellet Grill

My amazing sister, who had a birthday yesterday, gave me this as a birthday present for turning 60. It’s the MasterChef Turismo pellet grill and smoker.

A nice addition

Along with the barbeque she gave me for Christmas 2 1/2 years ago, I think she likes it when I cook. Last night I fired it up for the first time.

Did sweet Thai chili chicken drumsticks, a turkey breast and glazed turkey wings. I loved cooking on this grill. The smoke flavor was amazing.

Turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Lots of people were asking about the wine in the glass. It was pretty yummy too.

Pasqua Passimento Rosso

With subtle smoky notes, this wine paired perfect with my meal done on my new smoker. This wine is known as Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Passimento Rosso, and it’s a blend of dried or “appassimento” grapes of 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina and 30% Croatina. Appassimento means dried, and the process is quite unique. The Merlot and Corvina grapes, selected and hand harvested with great care, are then left to dry for 1 month into wooden trays in the Fruttaio, a special room used for drying grapes. Here, thanks to the dry and well ventilated environment where the humidity level is carefully controlled, the grapes loses around 30% of their water content and gain high flavor concentration. It is normally priced under $20, but here in Nova Scotia it’s on sale right now for about $17. Stock up. Several wine critics have given this wine 91 Points.

That’s it for me this week. Wanted to share this, a picture taken 13 years ago. My nephews Brady & Riley, ages 11 and 7

Brady & Riley 11 & 7

Last weekend my two nephews came to visit.

Last weekend my nephews came to visit. They are now 24 & 20

Brady works at the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City and Riley returns to Nova Scotia on Monday to start his 3rd Year at St. FX University in Antigonish. Yes, there are days I feel old. LOL

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

619 & Counting

When I went to write this blog this morning, my page told me I’ve written 618 blogs to date. Which makes this one Number 619. That’s a lot of blogs on a Saturday morning. I know I’ve written about my writers block before, as a matter of fact, looking back, it was one year ago today that I wrote about it the last time. I don’t know what it is about the second last weekend of August, but it seems to happen about this time each year. I’ve incorporated my love of cooking, and my love of food in my blogs. Because let’s face it, wine and food are a match made in heaven.

I haven’t done a wine tasting in a while, and I’m finding myself in a bit of a wine rut. I was at the wine store last evening, and although I looked around the different sections, I found myself heading right back to the California section. I’ve been on a bit of a California kick lately. However, this week I enjoyed a bottle of wine given to me at my birthday. This week I tried a new wine from Australia.

The Kings of Prohibition Cabernet Sauvignon is a really nice Australian Cabernet. It’s not overly oaky, it was aged in French oak. which adds subtle oak notes. The wine is named after the famous bootleggers during Prohibition in the 1920’s, Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel to name a few. It’s an easy-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon that’s well priced under $22.

Margarita Monday

Sometimes in the Summer, you just have to have a Margarita Monday. My friend Maggie who lives above me, had Margarita Monday this past Monday. That lady can make an awesome Margarita. We had a great spread of Mexican-themed food and of course some great Margaritas. Hey, a girl can enjoy more than a glass of wine! Thank you Maggie

It’s also corn season here in Nova Scotia. Fresh peaches and cream corn from the Annapolis Valley made its way to my plate several times this week. I really enjoyed it with a steak and herbed potatoes. Feel free to share your favorite corn recipes in the comment section! Would love to hear them.

Stay cool everyone. It’s supposed to be a hot weekend. It’s also a shorter blog today, I’m heading to Antigonish for the night.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene